Ambassadors Perform on Saturday, April 14th

Are you ready for some fútbol?
The Denver Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming concert ¡GOOOOAL!, with Mexico City-based conductor José Luis Castillo, will transport you through song to Mexico, Spain, Buenos Aires, and Argentina!

Our Ambassadors are excited to be performing preconcert from 6:45-7:15pm and will be opening the second half of the program.

Antonia Brico Stage at Central Presbyterian Church (1660 Sherman St.)
Purchase your ticket here!
*Doors open at 6:15pm, Ambassadors perform at 6:45pm, and full program begins at 7:30pm!

El Sistema Colorado actively seeks performance and engagement opportunities in an effort to build connections, networks, and experiences for our students. With their vibrant community and commitment to education, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra is a natural fit! We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with them once again. Hope to see you there!

Denver’s DazzleJazz Hosts Linda Briceño at Benefit for El Sistema Colorado

Linda Briceno

Seating is limited. Purchase your tickets now at DazzleJazz.

Latin Grammy-nominee for 2014’s Best New Artist and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, Linda Briceño will headline a benefit performance for El Sistema Colorado on Sunday, March 26, 6 p.m. at Denver’s top jazz club, DazzleJazz. Briceño, 28, grew up in the El Sistema music education system in her native Venezuela and is thrilled at the opportunity to support the movement in Denver.

Linda Briceño’s connection with El Sistema is profound; she and her father created “Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz” in 2007, under the direction of El Sistema founder, Dr. José Antonio Abreu. Briceño has captured international attention as a soloist, big band director and composer. She was the first Venezuelan woman to play with the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Briceño will be joined by Colorado-born bassist Myles Sloniker, with cameos by his father, pianist Mark Sloniker, flutist Joe Anderies, and young El Sistema Colorado musicians.

Ticket are $20 and can be purchased online through DazzleJazz and Ticketfly.

Can’t attend but want to donate?

Click here to help grow and nurture our young orchestras and choirs.

Connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Summer Music

Students from Garden Place and Swansea Elementary schools invite you to their final summer concert this Saturday, August 2nd at 10:00 am. The free public concert will take place at Garden Place Elementary, 4425 Lincoln St. Please come! No rsvp needed.

Our El Sistema Colorado students have been working hard over the summer to prepare for this concert, closing two months of free full-day programming. Student’s musical exploration revolved around three themes; world music associated with the World Cup soccer event, the local music scene – culminating in their debut at Red Rocks Amphitheater with DeVotchKa and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra on July 17th, and over the last two weeks, film from movies and theater.

As part of the movie and theater musical theme, students work as teams associated with composers Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Alan Menken and Richard Rogers. Check out a newly posted facebook album of photos from this week, which included an Academy Awards day with fancy duds and a character day with great costumes.

Featured here is wonderful essay from young violinist Fernanda, who is on the Alan Menken team.
Fernanda’s MenkenEssay
Thanks for sharing your research about Alan Menken and his musical significance Fernanda! This is a project she undertook on her own, bringing together El Sistema Colorado values around exploration of music, academic improvement, leadership and peer mentoring. Here she is on the violin in her Academy Award glamour.
Violinist Fernanda
See you Saturday!

Upcoming Student Performances

The El Sistema Colorado students have been working very hard all year and now we are gearing up for several great community and school performances. Parents and families provide encouragement during a GardenPlace student rehearsal performance All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 26th
Dia de los Ninos Celebration at Denver Museum of Nature & Science
12:45 & 2:15 pm

Free admission and lots of fun activities. Garden Place students will perform at 12:45 and 2:15 pm.
Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.

Sunday, April 27th
Dia de los Ninos Celebration in Civic Center

Students from Bruce Randolph Middle School will offer three community performances during this day of free admission and activities.
12:30 – 12:40 pm at Denver Art Museum, Ponti Building
1:30 – 1:45 pm at McNichols Building, Civic Center Park
2:30 – 2:45 pm at History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway

Thursday, May 8th
Bring a Friend to El Sistema Day

Please be our guest at the after-school program at Garden Place Elementary, 4425 Lincoln St. Drop in anytime from 3:30 – 6:00 pm to participate in program activities including choir, instrumental lessons, and orchestra rehearsal. Interact with the students and see the difference El Sistema Colorado is making in their lives.

If you’d like to join us, please RSVP to 303-880-1990 or

Saturday, May 17th
Year End El Sistema Colorado Youth Orchestra Concert

10:30 – noon
The El Sistema Youth Orchestra Concert will feature 1st – 9th grade students from Garden Place Elementary and Bruce Randolph Middle & High School.
Concert at Bruce Randolph, 3955 Steele St.

Wednesday, May 21st
Appreciation Concert
5:00 – 6:00 pm

Be a guest of our El Sistema Colorado parents at a special Appreciation Concert featuring students from Garden Place Elementary, Swansea Elementary and Bruce Randolph Middle & High School. See more information in the main story.
Garden Place Elementary
4425 Lincoln St.

Friday, May 30th
Kindergarten Concert
5:00 – 6:00 pm

175 kindergarten students at Garden Place and Swansea Elementary schools began learning the violin this school year. Come support them at their year end concert and celebrate their progress.
Swansea Elementary
4650 Columbine St.

Students Open Globeville Exhibit

A woodwinds ensemble from Garden Place Elementary kicked off the opening reception for a new exhibition on the Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods at the Main Denver Library on Saturday. The students did an outstanding job, playing several traditional folk tunes and wrapping up with a beautiful song. Pictured are students Davion Martinez, Maria Ulibarri, Jose Ortiz, Dominic Ortiz, Jeremy James, Elijah Garcia and Leslie Barron. They were led by our wonderful teaching artists Kyle Etges, Taylor Martin and Seth Miller. Check out more photos of the event on our facebook page (and please LIKE El Sistema Colorado).
Woodwinds students from Garden Place receive a certificate of recognition from Councilwoman Montero at the opening of a new exhibit on Globeville.

Celebration Event a Success

Great performancse featured students from Garden Place and Swansea Elementary schools.

Over 50 El Sistema Colorado students performed at a special celebration event on November 14th. The event included the first performance by students from Bruce Randolph Middle and High School band and orchestra, as well as strings, woodwinds and choral performances by Garden Place and Swansea Elementary students.

The Celebration event raised funds for El Sistema Colorado, allowing more students to benefit from the program in 2014. A special thanks to Jerry Danner, who created a one-of-a-kind flute sculpture that was auctioned at the event. El Sistema Colorado thanks the many generous donors who sustain the important work of El Sistema Colorado, changing lives through music.

Congratulations Kindergarteners!

A real violin! Proud Kindergarteners receive their violins.

Over 175 Kindergarten students from Garden Place and Swansea Elementary Schools gave “Paper Violin Concerts” this month – and graduated to real violins. Hundreds of family and community members were on hand to cheer on their students.

El Sistema programs have been using paper mache violins for many years to introduce students to the instrument. Initially, the paper violins were a stand-in because there were not enough real violins, but the practice proved to be very successful from a pedagogical perspective, allowing youngsters to learn basics, such as the part of the violin, handling and positioning.

In September, families came together to create paper mache violins for each El Sistema Colorado kindergarten student. The students practiced with their paper violins in September and October, getting ready for their big graduation.

A special thanks to donors who contributed towards the purchase of violins for our young musicians and attending the graduation events to give each child their violin. On hand were the Butler Family represented by Nancy and Tony Accetta, Katherine and Alex Martinez, Kathy Newman and Rudi Hartmann, Mary, Sophia and Lucy Park, Michael Frank and Michael Miera, representing the Denver Office of Economic Development.

El Sistema in the Community

Garden Place students perform at a nearby Century Link facility as part of a United Way promotion. A 5th grade ensemble from Garden Place Elementary serenaded Century Link employees during a recent event with Mile High United Way. United Way is out in the business community this fall, promoting workplace giving that supports organizations like El Sistema Colorado. One of the most effective way to encourage giving through United Way is to help employees see the impact of their contributions. El Sistema Colorado students were on hand to perform and show what they are accomplishing with community support. Thanks to all the Century Link employees who gave their applause and encouragement to our young musicians.

Public performances, like this one supporting Mile High United Way, are an important part of the El Sistema Colorado program. The opportunity to perform reinforces the hard work it takes for students to master their instruments and new repertoire. Students feel pride when they are recognized for their playing, driving confidence and building self-esteem. Performing in support of nonprofit organizations and events also reinforces the core El Sistema value of social responsibility and allows students to contribute to their community.

El Sistema Colorado 2nd and 4th grade students from Garden Place and Swansea Elementary schools also recently participated in the kick-off event for Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project. Not only were the students excited to perform, but they increased their understanding of affordable housing issues in their community.

Students perform at the recent Kick-Off event for Habitat for Humanity's Carter Work Project. Habitat is building over a dozen affordable housing units in the Globeville neighborhood.

If you are interested in having El Sistema Colorado students perform at your business or community event, please contact Program Director Jamie Wolf at

Paper Violin Concerts Nov 1st & 2nd

Swansea kindergarten students practice on their paper violins, preparing for their first concert and the presentation of their real violins

170 kindergarten students from Garden Place and Swansea Elementary schools have been practicing on their paper mache violins since early September, preparing for the day when they will graduate to real violins. We invite to you be a part of their special day by attending one of the Paper Violin Concerts on November 1st and 2nd.

El Sistema programs have been using paper mache violins for many years to introduce students to the instrument. Initially, the paper violins were a stand-in because they did not have enough real violins, but the practice proved to be very successful from a pedagogical perspective, allowing youngsters to learn basics, such as the part of the violin, handling and positioning.

In September, Garden Place and Swansea families came together to make paper violins for over 170 kindergarten students. See El Sistema Colorado’s Facebook pagefor a photo album of the paper violin creation.

The students have been practicing and learning with their paper versions, anxiously awaiting the time when they have earned real violins. And now that day has arrived. The kindergarteners will give a short Paper Violin Concert (to recorded music) and then each child will be presented a real violin by El Sistema donors. Refreshments will follow the performances. The events are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

Event details:

  • Swansea Elementary Paper Violin Concert   Friday, Nov 1st 5:30 – 7 p.m.
    4650 Columbine Street, Denver, CO 80216  (just north of I-70, Josephine/York exit)
  • Garden Place Elementary Paper Violin Concert   Saturday, Nov 2nd 10 – 11:30 a.m.
    4425 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80216 (just south of I-70, Washington exit)

A huge thanks to Sandy Elliott and Katherine & Alex Martinez for special contributions to support the purchase of instruments. El Sistema Colorado continues to raise funds to purchase violins and other instruments for our new program sites. Thank you for considering a donation.


Nov 14th Celebration & Performance

Cello students at the Garden Place site prepare for the Nov 14th Celebration

Please join El Sistema Colorado and our youth orchestra and choir for a performance and fundraiser celebrating our new program sites.

Our Board members and Chair Monika Vischer invite you to join them for wine and appetizers to enjoy the first joint performance of students from our new sites. This will be the first opportunity to see students from Swansea Elementary and Bruce Randolph Middle & High Schools, in addition to students from our original site at Garden Place Elementary.

Please RSVP to or 303-880-1990 by November 8th. There is no charge for the event, but we gratefully accept donations and will have a few lovely items for auction.
Thanks for helping introduce El Sistema Colorado to others by inviting family or friends to join you at the event.

Event Details:

Thursday, November 14, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Highland Event Center
2945 Julian St (at 29th Ave.)
Denver, CO 80211

Can’t attend the event? We are pleased to host visits to our school sites by appointment. Please contact Executive Director Jan Brennan at 303-880-1990 to make arrangements to see El Sistema Colorado in action.

Thank you for your support of El Sistema Colorado and our young musicians.
Donate online at or send check to:
El Sistema Colorado
789 Sherman Street, Suite 250
Denver, CO 80203